"Iím terrified of getting hurt again."
I have fallen in love like I never expected. He could be the one, except heís separated, not divorced. Weíre together often and are enormously attracted. We have not had full out intimacy because I put the brakes on. Iím terrified of getting hurt again. I want a serious involvement leading to marriage, not another passing affair like a couple Iíve had that ended in anger and pain. After divorcing, many people get into this wild dating craze. Iím nervous about becoming this manís first after- marriage lover. Yet I am so attracted to him, I feel totally torn. Sandra
Whatís your rush? Why do you put such pressure on yourself? You have lots of time to get to know this man before making any decisions. Take a deep breath, check in with your feelings and enjoy your relationship. Discovery of a new person can be a wonderful adventure. Enjoy it and stay conscious. And let your feelings guide you.
When we first meet a new person we donít know them. Often we superimpose our fantasies on that person and are un-able to see them as they are. Only the passage of time reveals character, lifestyle habits, values and beliefs -- the core issues that let us assess how compatible we are and a life together can be.
You are also clouding the issue by clinging to your prejudice. Donít condemn one man because another did you wrong. Your fears are driving your actions. If you want clarity you need to stay open emotionally. Letís assume your man is more grounded than you think. Maybe he has figured out what went wrong in his marriage and what it takes to build a healthy and happy relationship. Hopefully he has done his share of soul searching and come to know some basic truths about him self and whatís important in his life.
What about you? Have you taken the time to visualize what kind of life partnership you seek, what characteristics are important to you in the man you wish to spend the rest of your life with? Can you be a steady, loving partner? Are you prepared for marriage? Have you worked through the issues that undermined your former relationships? If you have clarity about these issues there is no risk in going ahead and letting this relationship unfold naturally.
For love to happen you have to take emotional risks and let yourself be vulnerable. You cannot protect yourself emotionally and become closer. The best insurance policy is to stay in touch with your feelings. So turn off your head and listen to the language of your heart. If it tells you to pursue a friendship first before sexualizing the relationship, itís the right message for now. If he is the right partner he will consider your feelings not just his needs.
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